Cruise inventory

Caspian 0709H

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)Caspian (7401)
Cruise identifier0709H
Cruise period2009-04-29 — 2009-05-09
Port of departureScrabster, United Kingdom
Port of returnScrabster, United Kingdom

1. To undertake a nationally co-ordinated demersal trawling survey of anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius, and L. budegassa) in the North West of Scotland and West of Shetland sea areas.

2. To obtain temperature at depth profiles at each trawling station.

3. To record and map distributions of megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis), four spot megrim (L. boscii) and cod.


This was part of the fifth annual anglerfish trawl survey undertaken to a set of protocols drawn up by an Industry / Science survey-planning group, which was made up of Marine Scotland scientists and Fishing Industry representatives.

Scientific staff overnighted in Scrabster and met with MFV Caspian and crew on the morning of Wednesday 29 April. The net (BT195) arrived shortly after 9am and after an inspection to ensure the groundgear and rigging were in order this was loaded by the crew while Marine Lab staff dealt set up scientific equipment and other survey gear. Caspian sailed early afternoon and headed out in fair sea conditions to the first station to the west of Orkney. Fishing operations commenced at 1720 hours in 120m resulting in a successful tow with BT195 performing very well and only minor adjustments to the scanmar setup needed. Over the next few days Caspian worked northwards under good conditions in the shallower depth stratum along the eastern side of the survey area. Numbers of anglerfish caught were small at first but catches by weight increased with progress to the north where larger fish were encountered.

Cod featured strongly at most of the stations from 25 miles north of Orkney to the tip of Shetland in 90-120m On 1 May the most northerly station was reached and Caspian fished south working back and forth over the 200m line at depths ranging from 100 to 480 m. Fresh SW-W winds and moderate to rough seas slowed down transit times between stations but did not cause any stoppage to actual fishing. There were some good catches of anglerfish recorded around this period that covered the depth spectrum of this part of the survey and one notably large catch of megrim. Haul 17 was noteworthy for its large component of deepwater redfish (Sebastes spp). On 3 May, Caspian worked in an arc to the east into shallower stations before fishing west and back up along the deeper stations. This was to coordinate the survey with a projected window in the weather that would permit transit to and working at the westernmost and isolated stations. Again some good catches of angler were recorded mainly in 130 - 170 m with catches decreasing somewhat in the more eastern and southern stations. Four-spot megrim made their only recorded occurrence here at one of the deeper stations. Opportunity to fish west was hampered by poor conditions and a deteriorating forecast therefore Caspian steamed south and completed a further station. By early morning on 7 May, the sea state had become very poor and Caspian shifted to just off the Butt of Lewis in company with several Spanish static gear vessels where she remained until afternoon before dodging back out to the next station. By this time, an arrangement was made with the scientists and skipper of the MFV Norlantean (undertaking the western area survey) to complete two of the westernmost stations of the northern survey while Caspian undertook three stations for the western survey. This worked well for both vessels given their respective positions at the time. Caspian then worked east to finish the survey with the final station completed in the early hours of 9 May. Caspian docked at Scrabster at 6am on the same day for unloading.
Chief scientistJames Drewery (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Cruise programmeCaspian 0709H cruise programme 0709h.pdf — access key 'C' (0.08 MB) 
Cruise reportCaspian 0709H cruise report 0709h.pdf — access key 'C' (0.40 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
North East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
SpecificNorth of Scotland, Orkney, Shetland
Track chartsCaspian 0709H cruise track — 0709htrk.pdf (0.07 MB)